April 16, 2014

Check out the 2014 Spring Release

2014 Spring Release
It's Spring Release time! Learn all about the new ChannelAdvisor product features that help retailers become smarter about e-commerce at our sister blog, eBay Strategies, and sign up for the webinar taking place on May 1st!

April 08, 2014

Expert Insights: Google Merchant Promotions with Matt Jones

Google is always unveiling something new for retailers to try out, so today we’re sitting down with Matt Jones to discuss Google Merchant Promotions.

Q: Welcome Matt. Tell us about  your position with ChannelAdvisor.

A: I’m a Digital Marketing Product Manager at ChannelAdvisor, which means I work to understand the intricacies of the digital marketing space and create ways for our products to help retailers excel online through digital marketing channels.  

Matt Jones

Q: What does Digital Marketing include?  

A: ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing includes the many channels retailers use to drive traffic back to their websites, such as product listing ads, paid search and comparison shopping engines, as well as our Flex Feeds that retailers can use to send data feeds to affiliates, retargeting sites, social sites like Pinterest and more.  Digital Marketing also provides analytics that allow retailers to compare performance across all of these disparate channels on a product-level basis.   

Q: So what are Google Merchant Promotions?

A:  Google Merchant Promotions are a new special offer call to action that is displayed by Google on PLAs.  They show up on both the Google.com search engine results page and Google.com/Shopping.

Google Merchant Promotions

Q: What are the benefits of Google Merchant Promotions?

A: Merchant Promotions allow retailers to include more detailed information regarding a promotion such as a promotion code, applicable dates, short and long promotion titles, etc. to enhance their product listing ads and increase conversions.  Basically, Google is helping retailers create a sense of urgency with shoppers and encourage them to convert. Also, customers are able to own the "last touchpoint" rather than having someone go searching for "coupon code" and end up having that sale go through another source.

Oh, and it’s free!

Q: It’s free?  That’s great.  But what kind of results are retailers seeing?

A:  Google indicates that Merchant Promotions can increase click-through rates by as much as 7 percent.

Q: Wow!  Well, what kind of promotions can retailers include with Merchant Promotions?

A: Retailers can promote a dollar amount off, a percentage off, free gifts and opportunities to buy more and save more, such as a “buy one, get one free” offer.

Q: Are there any promotions that are not eligible for Google Merchant Promotions?

A: Yes, promotions can NOT be mail-in rebates, free or discounted shipping, markdowns/advertised price reductions or of insignificant monetary value, meaning less than $5 off or 5% off.

Q: How do retailers start taking advantage of Google Merchant Promotions?

A: If a retailer is working with Google directly they have to send two feeds to Google: the standard Merchant Center Feed and then a Promotions feed.  It can be a time-consuming process, especially since Google has detailed guidelines and requirements for promotions that, if not followed, will lead to promotions being rejected.  

Q: How does ChannelAdvisor support Google Merchant Promotions?

A: We offer end-to-end support that enables retailers to create Google Merchant Promotions and associate them with the correct products through one simple workflow.  This means retailers don’t have to manually generate and send a separate product feed or update their Google Merchant Center feeds.  Instead, retailers can quickly and easily start and stop promotions, assign inventory and send to Google, all within our platform.

Google Merchant Promotions 1

Also, we have a user-friendly interface that is aligned with Google’s requirements to ensure that retailers promotions are approved.

Q: Sounds exciting.  How can retailers find out more?

A: Retailers can contact us at info@channeladvisor.com to find out how they can get started.  With these kind of results, and for no investment except time, it’s really a no-brainer for retailers!

April 02, 2014

Understanding Google Shopping Campaigns

In recent weeks, Google officially unveiled its much-anticipated interface change to Product Listing Ads called Google Shopping campaigns.  And just today Google announced that as of late August 2014, everyone will be required to upgrade to Shopping campaigns.

Google logoWhile the upgrades to the interface are significant, Shopping campaigns should help streamline how you set-up, manage and bid on your product inventory.  So, if you’re already using PLAs to promote your inventory, breathe a sigh of relief.  These changes should help save you time and arm you with powerful insights that will ultimately improve ROI.  And, if you’re a retailer who has been thinking about trying Google Shopping for the first time, it’s now easier than ever to get started.

So what changed?

When Google set out to enhance the overall PLA experience, it’s apparent that they focused their efforts on three key areas of improvement:

  1. Improving campaign management

  2. Expanding reporting capabilities

  3. Arming users with competitive landscape data

Your campaign objectives and scale of operations will ultimately determine which improvements prove to be of most value.  But even the smallest of retailers should find the new interface helpful. Here is a quick look at some of the biggest improvements.

Management

Under the former PLA structure, your inventory was sorted into similar categories called product targets.  Google then matched the data feed information from these product targets with the search terms people entered to best determine which ads displayed and at what cost-per-click (CPC).  However, users weren’t able to further segment product targets to maximize individual product performances.  With Shopping campaigns, you now have complete access to your entire inventory within AdWords. You no longer have to reference your data feed in Merchant Center.  You also can organize and group your inventory into subcategories, such as Brand, Item ID, Condition or Product Type and assign separate bidding values to each.  If a specific product group is underperforming, or is just out of season, you can choose to temporarily exclude it without affecting similar product groups.  The level of granularity is completely up to you.

Google Shopping campaigns
Image Source: Google

New Reporting Capabilities

Google Shopping campaigns has also incorporated this segmented approach into its campaign reporting. You can now view campaign performance at the subcategory level.  So, depending on your business needs, you can pull specific metrics on a brand, product type or even a product ID.  In fact, Google has given access to so many levels of new information that the reporting process could easily become time intensive. A best practice would be to use this functionality to monitor product groups with unique features like seasonality, clearance or high-end pricing.  

Competitive Insight

One of the most common questions from advertisers using the former PLA structure was “How does my campaign compare to those of my competitors?” Google has responded to these users with a handful of new tools that not only identify where advertisers currently stand in the market, but also highlight areas of potential growth.  

Google SHopping Campaigns competitive
Image Source: Google

First, Shopping campaigns gives you access to benchmark data to help establish the maximum expected CPC and click-through rate (CTR) data for individual product groups.  No longer do retailers have to guess and check their bidding strategy.  The benchmarking data provides clarity into where budgets need adjusting.

Another helpful tool is the Impression Share metric.  This helpful tool essentially tracks your share of voice among available impressions. Obviously, this information is critical in determining areas where you can potentially separate product ads from those of your competitors.

Finally, the new Shopping campaigns bid simulator allows you to experiment with your bidding strategy by providing estimated campaign results at different bid levels.  This new simulator should save valuable time by establishing performance expectations at a higher level.

Find Out More

Channeladvisor-apple-monitor-smallWe’ll be hosting a webinar with Google to educate retailers on Google Shopping campaigns and how retailers should transition.  Sign up today to be notified when the webinar is available.  

Sign Up Here

Blog post by Greg Ives, Product Marketing Manager, Digital Marketing

 

March 11, 2014

Live Blogging from 2014 Catalyst: Google Fireside Chat (Part II)

Welcome to the live blog of ChannelAdvisor's Catalyst 2014. We'll be live blogging the general sessions to make sure Catalyst attendees don't miss anything. Also, make sure you're following hashtag #Catalyst2014 and @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter for all the latest.

Moderator: Link Walls, VP of Product Management, ChannelAdvisor

Guest: Vineet Buch, Director of Product Management for Shopping Search, Google

Part I of this blog is located here: http://www.searchmarketing.com/searchmarketing/2014/03/live-blogging-from-2014-catalyst-google-fireside-chat-part-i.html

Enhanced Campaigns

Link: Talk to us about Enhanced Campaigns

Buch: I don’t personally own Enhanced Campaigns-caveat.  Reason Google launched is that mobile was an after-thought—a tier 2 platform, and they realized it’s where the industry is going. Didn’t serve the user to not be focused on mobile.

No reason to differentiate between tablet and desktop.  Made it easier to participate on mobile.  It’s working, mobile ad traffic is up, and mobile participation is up.

It’s been almost a year, see it as quite successful. 

Link: Challenge we see is that it’s difficult for some retailers to get a mobile app in order.  Online retail community needs to figure out what a good mobile site looks like. 

Buch: Need to pay attention to mobile as it’s growing. 

Link: Talk to us about Google Shopping Express

Buch: GSX.  Google Shopping Express website shows selection of products from local retailers.  Delivered by Google. Google is not the seller, just handling the transaction. Rationale for doing that is that there are a lot of people who want local products but want them delivered.  Retailers can’t have a scalable delivery service, especially for cheaper orders.

Found people really like the service. Become quite popular in the Bay area.  Still evaluating expansion geographically as well as the number of supported categories. 

Give you a 2-4 hour window for delivery, received the same day as the order.

Link: Talk about Google Merchant Promotions

Buch:  Promotions, discounts and coupons have always been a part of shopping.  Historically Google has supported this.  Allow retailers to send us a list of coupons/promotional products.  Free service.  Have found it leads to an uplift in performance.  They do check to ensure that users are getting the proper deal. If it’s 25% off, the retailer should not have raised the price to make up the difference. 

It’s been good for authentic offers that users can trust.

Link: Can backfire, especially if there are exclusions, so retailers should manage carefully. 

Link: Landscape of the search engine results page (SERP) has changed so much. One question we get is “Does SEO still matter?”  A lot of that has been pushed down due to new programs. How should retailers think about that?

Buch: When Google as a company decides what should be on a SERP, the arbiter is what the user will like. If nobody clicks on it, it’s not going to show up.  Have strict guidelines for how much of page can be taken up by content that isn’t search results. 

Doesn’t run the SEO side, but his understanding is that organic traffic is still very important to retailers.

Link: In our data, it’s becoming more of a winner takes all. 

Buch: Pretty strict wall between how much space can be paid.  The algorithm picks the results that are going to perform best.

Link: Any closing thoughts?

Retailer can’t think of platforms singularly.  Use mobile and tablet as a visual shopping companion.

 Reminder for the Catalyst America’s social presence:
• Follow @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter as we’ll be tweeting out updates, reminders about sessions, networking events and more.
• Tag your social posts, Instagram pics with our show hashtag: #Catalyst2014 to keep tabs on discussions, networking opportunities and more on the Catalyst app.
• Keep an eye on the ChannelAdvisor blogs where we’ll be live blogging the keynotes and main sessions at Catalyst.

Live Blogging from 2014 Catalyst: Google Fireside Chat (Part I)

Welcome to the live blog of ChannelAdvisor's Catalyst 2014. We'll be live blogging the general sessions to make sure Catalyst attendees don't miss anything. Also, make sure you're following hashtag #Catalyst2014 and @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter for all the latest.

Moderator: Link Walls, VP of Product Management, ChannelAdvisor

Guest: Vineet Buch, Director of Product Management for Shopping Search, Google

Buch: "We are in the business of making our users happy."

Google wants to be part of the entire experience.  Organize information, help users figure out if there is a store nearby, and even deliver it to their house with Google Shopping Express.

Important distinction for Google is that they consider their business a partnership with retailers.

Product Listing Ads

Buch led the effort to centralize ad options--they were fragmented.  Hodge-podge of experiences.  Made a thoughtful decision to combine shopping into one initiative, so that they and retailers would both have skin in the game to make it most successful.  

Because Google Product Search was free, there wasn't as much value to the choices.  Google wasn’t proud of the look and feel of the search.  

It's been since October of 2011 that Google Shopping was launched, moved over more countries in 2012. 

Total volume of clicks we send retailers from a paid experience is higher than the volume of free plus paid clicks they had before. 

A number of independent 3rd-party reports that indicate the ROI of PLAs is better than any other programs out there. Why?

  • Improved mobile experience
  • Built trust signals
  • Quality of Data vastly improved-retailers pay more attention now that they are paying for it.  

Buch thinks Google does a pretty good job today when the user knows what they want to buy. But when the user is higher in the funnel, exploring the category, this is where Google wants to improve. 

Google wants to collate data from multiple sources to have a way for users to find products.  Help users figure out what is important to them--help them make a purchase.  Use rich content. 

Link: One of the common complaints we hear from advertisers is the ability to target specific queries.  

Buch: "If I had a penny for every time someone asked me about query-based ads I'd own the Wynn."

Text ads are not trying to provide a full page experience-they are about satisfying aspects of users' needs as soon as possible.  Want the user to feel we are providing them shopping results--and relevant results. Want to create a consistent experience for the users.  Trying to do their best estimate of how well the user converts.  

"In the end, if the user liked what we showed them, it's in the users interest, the retailers interest and our interest."

Link: Where is Google Shopping in terms of completeness? 

Buch: Sense is that they are pretty complete for most categories.  For some categories there may be some issues with the comprehensiveness of the results.  

Google Shopping Campaigns

Text ads are keyword-based, Product ads were product-based.  Google felt they weren’t doing the best showing retailers the kind of reporting needed to run a campaign.  Year-long effort to revamp the bidding system. Exposes impressions, so retailers know their share of voice.  Much easier to use, specifically for PLAs.  Find retailers using it for a few months are giving rave reviews.   

Link: Who is this best for?

Buch: Even for those who have built own system, the reporting is brand new.  Impression-based reporting shows you your share based on impressions. If you think you should have more share, it helps you determine that to meet your marketing goals.

That report is valuable to just about anyone. Even for the most sophisticated advertisers, we don’t want people to lose out by shifting.  We think that soon it will be a win for everyone. 

Link: Is feed as important?

Buch: Trying to blend the best of what’s on the web with shopping. The better the quality of your feed, the better system we can build and the better traffic we can send you.  We think that over time, issues with feed quality may make us prioritize certain results over others--show listings with better pictures, for example.

Shopping Campaigns will make your life a lot easier.  Set up is much easier. Provides more control, more reporting on your performance on the market.  “If I can do it, so can you.”   

Google Local

Link: Tell us what’s going on with Google Local

Buch: Constant connectivity is driving consumer behavior. Online and offline experiences are blurring in your stores. 

  • 79% of shoppers checked online reviews before making a purchase. 
  • 1 in 3 shoppers uses their smartphones to find information instead of asking store employees.

Mobile was big increase in traffic for us last year.  Make it easy and fast, is Google’s advice.  Too often a focus on capturing things like the users’ email, rather than just getting the purchase.

He bought a nexus phone with his phone. Because he was signed in to Google Wallet, it was easier to buy it on his phone.  “Basically no typing to do at all. It should always be that easy.” 

Link: Is moving to Google Wallet a viable option for retailers here? Where do you see Google’s role in that payment piece?

Buch: Instant buy is available already with Google Wallet. Still lets you own the customer.

Link: How do you balance the creepiness factor from a user perspective?

Buch: Want to be sure the user knows what Google knows about them.  Big privacy team.  Big issue.  Early days for online attribution.  It’s not clear if the solution for offline is one big thing or a test of more custom solutions.

Work with them to figure it out.  Not a magic dashboard.  Hopeful that over time it can become more like a general purpose attribution solution.  Closing the loop isn’t easy.  Can’t track everyone all the time, but can extrapolate interesting information and trends. 

 See Part II Here: http://www.searchmarketing.com/searchmarketing/2014/03/live-blogging-from-2014-catalyst-google-fireside-chat-part-ii.html

 Reminder for the Catalyst America’s social presence:
• Follow @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter as we’ll be tweeting out updates, reminders about sessions, networking events and more.
• Tag your social posts, Instagram pics with our show hashtag: #Catalyst2014 to keep tabs on discussions, networking opportunities and more on the Catalyst app.
• Keep an eye on the ChannelAdvisor blogs where we’ll be live blogging the keynotes and main sessions at Catalyst.

March 04, 2014

Guest Post: Maximizing Creativity and Efficiency for Advertisers

Ned Brody
Ned Brody, Yahoo’s Head of Americas, discusses top challenges facing advertisers and how Yahoo is working to address them.

At CES 2014, Yahoo introduced the new Yahoo Advertising, a unified approach to digital advertising. Yahoo’s Head of Americas Ned Brody shares his thoughts on the story behind the new approach.

Q: What are the biggest challenges that you see advertisers facing now?

Ned Brody: In my meetings with them, they always talk about two things:

First, they want more creative flexibility. They want to work on a digital canvas that lets them tell rich, engaging stories, but the current state of online advertising doesn’t always allow for that. However, the desire to create the next big idea is still there.

Second, they’re tasked with driving greater efficiency, which is fueling the growth of programmatic advertising. They need to optimize campaign performance, but to do that, they need better insight into what’s working and what’s not. They’re asking very specific questions like, “What am I doing that’s actually driving conversions? Was it my search ads, or my mobile campaign?”  So understanding attribution is key.

Advertisers say that those two challenges---the desire to be more creative and the need to be more cost-effective---often pull them in two different directions.

Q: How can this dilemma be solved?

NB: Advertisers need a digital canvas that’s open and unrestrictive, something that lets them take advantage of all the Web has to offer so they can tell compelling stories that grab consumer imagination. At the same time, they need a system that offers standardized models and formats so they can buy all kinds of advertising, including premium, on a cost-efficient, programmatic basis. 

To help advertisers flex their creative muscles, Yahoo is offering new custom branded experiences based on the Tumblr platform. It’s a very flexible template that opens the door for advertisers to create rich and engaging experiences to really differentiate a brand. To see it in action, check out Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech, our new digital magazines.

To help them improve performance and efficiency, we introduced a new unified approach to digital advertising.  A major obstacle in online advertising is how fragmented it’s become.  Advertisers have to deal with so many partners to get the reach, targeting, and effectiveness they want. 

Our unified approach tackles that problem head-on. It includes a comprehensive suite of Web, mobile, and video ad products across premium and audience-focused display, native, and search advertising. 

These products are supported by our data and analytics, with insights into the digital daily habits of more than 800 million people worldwide. 

Q: How does this help advertisers become more efficient?

NB: Advertisers gain efficiency through data, but data is useless if it’s not interoperable.  For example, if I can’t use a common measurement system to understand how my search results impact my mobile results, I’m missing out.  The unified approach leverages data from our millions of registered users across screens for targeting, performance measurement, optimization, and more. 

That data also provides answers to which tactics are actually driving conversions, which helps advertisers determine the optimum media mix for their campaigns. That’s huge, because our research shows that using the right media mix boosts efficiency in performance ad campaigns by 2.5 times and in brand campaigns by four times---with the same dollars spent.

Q: How does programmatic buying figure into the new approach?

NB: We introduced several new platforms that leverage programmatic buying and complement our full-service model.  For example, Yahoo Ad Manager is a new, simplified platform that gives advertisers hands-on access to a wide range of native and display advertising.  Yahoo Ad Manager Plus lets large advertisers plan, execute, and optimize complex display campaigns directly. And the Yahoo Ad Exchange is our new global ad marketplace that leverages programmatic buying. 

Q: How are clients reacting?

NB: They’re really excited about the opportunities to be a part of re-imagining our new custom branded experiences, and they’re showing strong interest in the unified approach and how it works within their business. We’ve built packages around most of these offerings to let advertisers launch quickly and see the results first-hand. I think the most important thing is that advertisers are seeing our commitment to lining up everything we’ve got to help them meet their key challenges. 

Hear more from Yahoo! at their Catalyst session, "Deconstructing Digital Daily Habits: A Deeper Understanding of how Gen Y/Z Affects Online Advertising" on Wednesday, March 12th at 9:30 am.

This post originally ran on the Yahoo Advertising Blog.

 

March 02, 2014

Countdown to Catalyst Americas: Don’t miss Google

Google Vineet Buch
Vineet Buch, Google

Catalyst Americas is almost here—and we can hear Vegas calling! 

We’re looking forward to Google Director of Product Management Vineet Buch, who will join ChannelAdvisor VP of Product Management Link Walls on stage on Tuesday, March 11 at 4:15 pm PT for a fireside chat.  Buch was co-founder of Like.com, and joined Google when it acquired Like.com in 2010, so he has 8 years of e-commerce experience to bring to the conversation.

You also don’t want to miss Brian Elliot, head of platforms for Google Shopping, who will lead a session titled “Mobile 101: Making the Most of Mobile Traffic, from Click to Conversion” on Wednesday, March 12 at 9:30 am PT. This session will cover:

  • Why responsive design is a great companion to apps
  • The most important aspects of the mobile shopper experience
  • What to measure, when to act and what to expect from mobile

There’s still time to sign up, though we’re close to sold out!  Check out the 10 Reasons Not to Miss Catalyst, and see the full agenda and register for Catalyst Americas 2014 today! 

February 25, 2014

How to Find New Keywords for Your PPC Campaigns

Building keyword coverage is a crucial element to a successful paid search strategy. While there are a number of ways to optimise your keyword generation, we’ve picked a few of the best to share — breaking down how they’ll increase your ROI, and how ChannelAdvisor can help along the way.

1. Know Your Customers

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes for a second. How and where would they search for brands and products? What keywords would they use? Before selecting new keywords, make sure you have first-rate data on your customers and a good idea of what keywords they would likely search. Paid Search Image 1

This customer data can be attained through a variety of ways. Examine your most popular products and brands for customers, look at what keywords customers have searched for in the past and take note of what strategies your competitors are using.

2. Be Specific

There are two primary keyword groups: head terms and tail terms. Head terms refer to the more popular or generic keywords, such as ‘laptops’ or ‘bikes’. They’re bound to be used by lots of customers, but will also cost more money because more companies will bid on them. Tail terms are for more specific keywords. We suggest concentrating on these, selecting words that are tailored to your individual products or season.

Let’s say you’re an apparel retailer. If winter is approaching and you want to advertise your winter wear, as opposed to just using ‘jumper’ as your keyword, you could use ‘winter jumper’ or ‘knitted jumper’. A phrase with multiple words is still considered as a single keyword. Fewer customers will be searching for that specific combination, so you’ll see less traffic. However, all the traffic you do receive should be from customers who are looking to purchase an item of that nature. Plus, a tail keyword like this would be considerably cheaper compared to a head term keyword.

3. Remember the Brand

Though it’s important to be specific with your keywords, don’t forget to include the actual product brand name, whether it’s your own brand or just one that you stock. By all means include the model information, but using the brand terms can also be a big sell, since many customers will have a particular brand in mind when searching for a product. A comprehensive keyword strategy should have a healthy combination of both item and brand information.

4. Experiment!

It’s hard to predict right off the bat what will work and what won’t work. Once you think you’ve put enough time into research and collecting customer data, start experimenting with your new keywords. Try a multitude of different keywords, examining which produce the best results.

Though we encourage trying lots of new keywords, remember to keep track of your ROI. Keywords cost money, so you need to make sure you’re not wasting it on ones that won’t lead to ROI. 

5. Keep an Eye on Your Keywords

As you experiment, monitor how your keywords are performing across all devices. You might find that certain keywords aren’t performing as well on one device compared to another, or the keyword itself may just not be attracting a sufficient amount of customers. It’s then up to you to decide whether to experiment further with the keyword or remove it entirely. Your overall end game here is to find the new keywords that bring in the most customers and highest ROI.

Search-magnifying

How ChannelAdvisor Can Help

Managing a successful paid search strategy won’t always be a walk in the park, and you might often find yourself coming up against obstacles. This is where ChannelAdvisor steps in.

Keyword Generator Tool

ChannelAdvisor’s Keyword Generator can help you find new keywords and variations to add to your account. This tool takes data from each of your e-commerce channels and lists out all keywords that aren’t currently in the account but have previously converted. Accessing and using these relevant terms is a great way to take advantage of your other channels in your paid search campaigns.

The Keyword Generator tool can also learn from actual search queries to find valuable keywords for the account. It shows search queries that users converted on that were synced to a broad match keyword in the account. It only displays converting keywords so you know they’re all relevant. It presents which keyword it was matched to, making it easy to see how your keywords are being matched and help find a location for the new keywords.

Cross-Channel Attribution

Because keyword management is a crucial part of your search marketing strategy, you’ll need to make sure you have the right data and tools on hand. With ChannelAdvisor, we provide cross-channel attribution so you can see how customers are progressing from conversation to conversion with double counting.

Actionable Retail Insights & Seasonality Report

Many retailers have a very seasonal business, going straight from Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Easter. If that’s the case for you, you’ll likely want a way to easily recreate what worked last year — and eliminate what didn’t convert. With ChannelAdvisor’s Actionable Retail Insights and the Seasonality Report, you can do just that with the click of a button.

Paid Search Image 2For further information on PPC and keyword generation, take a look at our Paid Search Tips one pager, where we've compiled our top 10 tips for PPC success in 2014.

 

January 16, 2014

The Best of ChannelAdvisor, 2013

Best of ChannelAdvisor, 2013The new year is already plugging along. Everyone is settling back into their old routines, working hard and looking forward to the promising year ahead.

But before we fix our gaze firmly on the horizon, let’s take one last look back at 2013. Last year was a great year for us at ChannelAdvisor, as well as for our clients, and we certainly have a lot to be proud of and thankful for.

In case you didn’t get to experience any of the new solutions we introduced this past year, here’s our annual “best of” compilation, highlighting some of the top new features that helped our clients experience new heights — and new continents — in 2013.

1. New and Expanded Geographies

With international borders evaporating online, a new world is being redrawn for e-commerce retailers. In addition to the many geographies already supported by our Marketplaces solution, last year ChannelAdvisor introduced support for several new international marketplaces, including Amazon Italy, Amazon China, Amazon Japan and Trade Me in New Zealand. Additionally, we helped broaden our clients’ reach in marketplaces within existing geographies, such as Best Buy and Shop.com in the U.S. and Tesco in the U.K.

For retailers looking to make the jump from a single marketplace into multiple, ChannelAdvisor took the lead, forging new paths and facilitating an easy transition for your business to expand to new marketplaces. Above all, we’ve allowed your products to be seen by millions more customers around the globe.

2. Actionable Retail Insights for Amazon

In 2013, marketplace sellers on Amazon sold more than a billion units worldwide. And with an average annual growth rate of 32% over the past 10 years, Amazon has become unavoidable.

If you’re an online retailer, you have no doubt already pondered the looming question of whether your business is ready to sell on Amazon, be it domestically or internationally. If your conclusion was “yes,” ChannelAdvisor’s new Actionable Retail Insights for Amazon ensures that you’ll earn the highest ROI possible when you do, in fact, make the leap.

Inventory Pricing and Insights, Product Insights, Data Quality Insights and Fulfillment Insights: Whether you’re new to Amazon or a seasoned pro, our actionable insights will guarantee that you make the most of your presence there.

3. Actionable Retail Insights for eBay

Like all marketplaces, listing on eBay requires that you keep up with constant updates and new requirements for your product listings. Wonder whether your images are up to snuff? Curious how to achieve “top-rated” status on your listings? No problem. With our Actionable Retail Insights for eBay, the relevant information is brought to the surface, allowing you to take action and achieve the ROI you want. Insights we introduced in our 2013 Autumn Release include: Data Quality Insights, Item Specifics Insights, Picture Recommendations and Listing Recommendations.

4. Google Shopping

Though Google Shopping isn’t even two years old, its impact on the world of online shopping cannot be overstated. Last year, we enabled sellers to take their Google Shopping strategies to the next level with the industry’s first holistic solution to the new paid search platform. It worked so well, in fact, that our retailers, on average, were able to triple their revenue in their first year using Google Shopping, compared to a year prior using the old Google Product Search platform.

Among other things, our technology allows retailers to customize product data feeds, enable and automate product targets, optimize bids and add negative keywords. Managing and optimizing Google’s Product Listing Ads has never been easier.

5. Inventory Driven Search

What if you could spend less, work less and still sell more? Well, now you can. It’s not exactly a secret that long-tail keywords are the best ROI in your paid search strategy. They’re cheap, and they convert. Problem is, they’re extremely complicated and too time-consuming to construct manually when dealing with a large number of products.

With the industry’s most comprehensive Inventory Driven Search (IDS) feature, ChannelAdvisor lets you bid on all your inventory automatically, including complex, long-tail terms. Build keywords and ads with ease. Then, let them work for you. Not the other way around.

6. Enhanced Campaigns

With the launch of Google Enhanced Campaigns, many retailers were left scratching their heads, wondering what to do in regard to AdWords. Separate campaigns for mobile keywords became a thing of the past and, instead, mobile bidding was lumped into a percentage of the PC/tablet keyword bid. ChannelAdvisor responded to the mounting confusion by providing the tools for retailers to understand, manage and automate their Enhanced Campaign performance every step of the way.

7. Seasonal Bid Adjuster

Trying to remember that keyword combination that worked so well for you last spring? Or that one you bid way too much for that barely moved a single item? Let our Seasonal Bid Adjuster do the remembering for you. The stored data will quickly and easily tell you exactly which terms and bids to replicate and which to avoid. Enter each season armed with the clarity of hindsight and the confidence to move forward.

8. Inventory Juggler

Expanding into new marketplaces is a great way to take your business to the next level. It’s the logical next step. Problem is, the more locations you’re selling in, the more stretched your inventory gets and the harder it is to accurately keep track of it all. Our Inventory Juggler eliminates that hassle. It allows you to sell a single list of products across multiple marketplaces without having to ration the items among the different marketplaces. Amazon, eBay, Tesco… expand away! And feel safe knowing that your inventory is being tracked and monitored so you won’t oversell.

By no means an exhaustive list, these are just a few of the highlights we brought to our clients in 2013.

Want to learn more about these and more of the best products and product updates we released last year? Check out our Best of Online Advertising, 2013 and Best of Marketplaces, 2013.

 

Blog post by Bradley Hearn, ChannelAdvisor Copywriter

December 20, 2013

We’ve joined Yahoo’s New Product Feed Preferred Partner Category

ChannelAdvisor retailers will be excited to know that we’ve been selected as an inaugural member of Yahoo’s new preferred partner category focused on product feed management. We were chosen to be part of the program’s new category based on our product feed expertise and superior feed-based technology that will help advertisers like you utilize ad formats such as Product Ads on the Yahoo Bing Network.

Yahoo-product-feed

"ChannelAdvisor is recognized throughout the industry for creating optimized product feeds that can benefit retail and feed-based search campaigns,” said Jackman Cheung, senior manager of the Yahoo Preferred Partner Program. “Yahoo is committed to helping advertisers find the trusted solutions they need to continually improve their campaigns.”

Through the Product Feeds Preferred Partner category, Yahoo is providing advertisers with options to boost campaign performance with a select group of online advertising technology experts.

If you want to find out more, let us know. Email us at info@channeladvisor.com.

Blog post by Jackie Jenkins, Sr. Product Manager